Diary from C2C Sweden part 3
This is the third entry from Judy's trail diary detailing her Coast2Coast Sweden hike. Don't forget to catch up by reading Volume I and Volume II first!
Day 4 CDC - 18.6 miles
I woke as usual to the sounds of birds and broad daylight at 4am, but was actually able to go back to sleep till 5 when I got up and made coffee. It’s been raining since about midnight, but it is slowing down a bit. Its 6:30am now and Alie is stirring. Jorgen will be leaving us when we get to town. He has to work on his book but will meet back up with us in a week. (Jorgen, Jonas and Fransiska are the three ‘leaders’ of the hike). Alie and I hit the road at 8am and it was a road walk. The rain had basically stopped, but we were still in full rain gear. We got to Kosta at 9am, where we stopped at the co-op and bought some food and then to the hotel restaurant buffet. Kosta is one of the last vestiges of the Crystal Kingdom, with the second oldest glass factory in Sweden.
We hiked till about 6:15 pm this day. It was a very long 30 km (18.6 miles) of mostly flat road – of course. Once we left Kosta, we did get onto gravel/forest roads however, but they’re not all that much better than paved as 99% of it is flat pounding along.
The weirdest thing I saw on this day was a giant truck on a back (dirt) road carrying a fully assembled telephone pole lying down on its side! It was dragging the wires from the pole behind it. It looked sort of like the truck had just plucked the pole off a line and ran off with it, wires and all! During the excitement, we passed the 100 km mark, so we stopped and made a "100km", "C2C Sweden" in the middle of a dirt road in pinecones and took lots of photos.
That evening we were camped in a horse field. Lots of horse poop everywhere, but our host (who has two Irish setters) graciously let us stay here, gave us water to drink and wash with, and has invited us up to the house for Fika.
The house is a few hundred years old and very beautiful, well-maintained and modernized. The farm, which is now just for horses, used to grow rye in the past. There are huge boulders in the field that may have been too big to clear, but I was told in the past they were left in the fields so they would soak up the sun and help keep the field warm in the evening to help the rye grow.
This is very rough hiking! Tomorrow is a short day and into a hostel.
Day 5 CDC - 18.6 miles
I left camp at 7:45am, though I woke at dawn which was 3:30am and went back to sleep till 5am. Got up, made coffee and breakfast, and read for a while. The day started off nice enough with dirt roads and cool, dark forest paths. One across a very old stone bridge.
But then we hit blacktop for a long way. Some of it was having to cross a highway, and some was rails to trails. Now we follow St. Sigrid Trail which is an old pilgrims trail into Vaxjo and the hostel. Part of the road walk was through a stone quarry. Yuk!
Having said that, we did pass through a farm that had several large fields that were in full bloom of dandelions. It’s as if they all had just bloomed - there was not one that had gone to seed. I’ve never seen anything so bright yellow! It was lovely. There were also lots of dark purple violets along the edges of the fields and Johnny Jump Ups in the roadway.
We arrived in Vaxjo (pronounced either Vek-sure or Ve-kwa) and had to walk through the town and up along the coast of the lake to the camping/hostel area. This is a massive resort area with people everywhere but we had small cottages rented. Gudrun and I finally found where we were supposed to be. Well, we actually found ice cream first – which is always nice on a long hot day (and the ice cream in Sweden is really good). For dinner, the group ordered pizza.
I took a shower and washed most of my clothes in the sink and we all hung them out to dry – this is one benefit of having sunshine until 9 pm, there was plenty of sun left to dry our stuff.
I had ordered some food online and had it shipped to Fransiska to mail to this location for a re-supply. There unfortunately were some ‘issues’ in that the hostel we were not staying at did not accept the package, so it was returned to the local post office. Fransiska did not have her ID card on her so she was unable to pick up the package. So now, I have no resupply. I’m a bit pissed off because it cost about $50.00 to order 4 dinners and have it shipped to Sweden. (Remember at that time I didn’t think I could bring food in from outside the EU, and I also didn’t want to have to carry two weeks worth of food. But since we eat so much at cafés and fika, I’m not eating most of my food anyway.)
The map does show that we’ll pass a supermarket on the way out of town tomorrow so I’ll have to try and figure out what to buy. Jonas (he’s one of the leaders) snapped at me when I got upset about my food – he had some re-supply as well he couldn’t get (although he had a big box with his name on it from the post office!). I am a backpacker and I know I won’t die from starvation out there, but I was upset about wasting $50.00.
More to come!